Sunday, November 20, 2011

An Orange Bake



Though I enjoy cooking as a whole, I always have a soft corner for baking. Though getting a cake from a store is a lot easier, the satisfaction I get from feeding my daughter with a home made cake is immense. And trust me the taste is so completely incomparable too.
I decided to bake one today and thought I would give it a nice citrus and orangey flavour. Oh yes, I have baked an Orange sponge cake and thought I would share it with you.


ORANGE SPONGE CAKE

Ingredients

All purpose flour- 2 ¼ cups
Eggs – 6 large ones
Castor sugar – 1 ½ cups (this is nothing but finely powdered sugar)
Baking powder – 1 tbsp
Salt – ½ tsp
Vegetable oil- ½ cup (do not use coconut oil, olive oil or any oil which gives a flavour. Corn oil or sunflower oil or safflower oil are the best)

Freshly squeezed orange juice – ¾ cup (2-3 Navel oranges can give 1 glass of juice)

Orange zest – 2 tbsp (this is the outer skin of the orange which has all the flavour and the zest. But be careful not to crape out the white layer just beneath the orange skin coz that can give a bitter taste to your cake)

Vanilla essence – 1 tsp
Cream of tartar – ¾ tsp (you can do without this too, but just ensure that your eggs are as fresh as possible)


Preparation

Preheat oven to 180 degree C. Prepare the baking tray, you can either butter it or line it with parchment paper. I usually use parchment paper as its easy to pull out the cake after baking.
Separate the egg yolk and whites and keep aside till room temperature is attained. In a large bowl, wisk the egg whites using an electric beater until frothy, now add the cream of tartar and wisk again until soft peaks are formed. Now add 3 tbsp of castor sugar and continue wisking till stiff peaks form. Keep this aside.

In another mixing bowl combine all the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, sugar and salt). Make a well in the mixture and pour in all the wet ingredients (egg yolks, orange juice, orange zest, vanilla essence and oil).Mix all the ingredients well to make a smooth batter. You can use an electric beater if u wish, but personally I believe in using a wooden spatula to mix manually. I feel Manual mixing enhances the softness of the cake. Probably I am being a little too old fashioned!!

Now pour in the egg whites and carefully fold the egg whites into the mixture until just incorporated. Do not over mix because you may deflate the mixture and hence loose out on the cakes spongy texture….. Now it’s the tasting time!!!! Dip in a finger and give a big smack J  okay perfect!!!!
Alright, now you may pour in the batter to the prepared pan and place it in the preheated oven and bake for 50-55 mins or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean.
 I use a normal gas oven, and I prefer that to the microwave. If you are using a microwave, place a small bowl of water along with the pan, this will prevent moisture loss and helps keeping the cake soft and moist.

Place the cake on a wire rack to cool. Do not pull out the cake until completely cooled or you might end up ruining it!!!

Happy eating ..






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